Big Bag of Crazy: D.A. Agrees Not to Use Seized Electronic Communications in Arson Trial
SAN ANGELO, TX -- 51st District Attorney Allison Palmer has agreed not to use electronic communications as evidence in the arson trial of Chelsea Stube because Strube works for a local attorney and some of the information may fall under attorney-client privilege.
In an agreement filed with the District Clerk’s office on Monday. Palmer agreed not to use the seized property that has not been reviewed by an independent reviewer. The evidence includes, “All documentary and electronic records, extracted from any device, including and not limited to computers, external hard drives, zip drives, storage discs, thumb drives, cellular telephones, tablets, IPads, and any and all digital devices seized from the defendant (Strube).”
Strube is employed by a local attorney. As we reported in 2015, Strube was arrested and charged with arson in connection with a fire investigation. San Angelo Police and Firefighters were called to a car fire in downtown San Angelo. At the scene, investigators found evidence that indicated arson played a role in the car fire, and on Sept. 11, 2015, Karla Steppe, an investigator with the San Angelo Fire Marshal’s department, filed an official complaint with the Tom Green County Justice of the Peace against Chelsea Jo Strube, 32, of San Angelo.
According to the complaint, Steppe had “good reason to believe and does believe and charge that Chelsea Jo Strube, Defendant, intentionally and knowingly [started] a fire by placing a white fabric into the gas tank along with a green plastic bottle containing a flammable liquid at a motor vehicle and igniting the flammable liquid with intent to damage and destroy a vehicle.”
When deputies with the Tom Green County Sheriff’s office and Steppe went to Strube’s residence in San Angelo, they identified her red Mustang in the garage. Strube told officials the Mustang did belong to her and gave them permission to search it.
During the search, the complaint said Steppe spotted items of interest.
“[Steppe] located a white canvas bag with the words ‘big bag of crazy,’ and inside the bag in the back passenger seat were miscellaneous items,” stated the complaint.
Arson is a second degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 and restitution.
According to court records, a motion to suppress hearing was scheduled for Strube on Wed. Dec. 19 but was canceled. The agreement not to use the evidence was signed by Strube’s attorney Gonzalo Rios, Strube and Palmer. Strube has a pretrial hearing set for Jan. 15, 2019.
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